Best Moments of ‘Stranger Things 2’
Like so many others, I assume if you are reading this now you spent your Halloween season turning on your Netflixaccount to watch the long awaited second season of their hit series Stranger Things. Set in the 1980’s this series about a group of friends, and those in their lives, being thrust into the machinations of a secret government conspiracy has fans hooked. With its sharp pop culture references, killer soundtrack, cool aesthetics, and charming cast it is no wonder this science fiction/horror series has garnered so much love. Now that I have given everyone a chance to finish Stranger Things 2, let up look back at some of the moments that stuck with us the most. These are presented in no particular order and of course there are SPOILERS.
Steve and DustinFighting Monsters and Styling Hair: Let us just get the most obvious one out of the way first. In the show’s debut season, Steve was a one-note douchebag boyfriend character, but as the story line progressed so did his character growth. In this season it is safe to say he came full circle. His girlfriend has broken up with him, he is no longer the most popular guy in school, and he is unprepared for a life outside high school. These circumstances push Steve as a character into new places, and as a result he becomes the badass protector of the kids on the show. No scene proved this more than he and Dustin strolling down the path trying to find Dart. As the two characters, each struggling through their own emotional turmoil, go on about their business we are party to them discussing life and girls and see that they had true chemistry together. This is a beautiful moment of character development and the beginning of Steve’s transformation this season. The biggest takeaway from this moment is the secret of how Steve makes his hair look that amazing.
Justice for Barb: Just like Boba Fett and Hannibal Lecter, it is sometimes the characters with little screentime who make a big impact on the fans. With just a couple of episodes last season, Nancy’s awkward and stalwart best friend Barb met a horrible fate at the hands of the Demigorgon; leaving those outside the circle of people in the know wondering what happened to her. Fans kicked up a #JusticeforBarb campaign in honor of the beloved character at the center of the loose plot thread. Much of Nancy and Jonathan’s arc this season revolved around ensuring the fans would happily see Barb’s tragic story come to as happy of an ending as it could. Viewers were finally introduced to the teen girl’s grieving parents, so desperate to get closure they hire a private investigator to be the fly in the ointment until the answers came to light. In the season finale, Jonathan and Nancy expose the government’s shady work in their town and Barb’s parents, as well as the fans, receive some much needed closure on the matter.
“Bitchin”: In her personal arc this season, Eleven discovers there are others like her and sets out to track one of them down. She ends up in Chicago with Eight and her motley crew of delinquents. Eager to join someone she hopes to form a bond with, Eleven succumbs to the fashionable ways of her “sister’s” crew. When the psychic girl finally reveals her new style she responds with the awesome “bitchin’”.
Who You Gonna Call?: Halloween is probably the greatest holiday ever and given the nature of Stranger Things, it is fitting that this season was set around this day. Given their experiences battling the supernatural and their love of science; Mike, Lucas, Dustin, and Will felt they had earned the right to don Ghostbusters costumes. We get a funny argument between Mike and Lucas on who gets to be Venkman and who has to settle for being Zeddemore (according to them nobody likes Winston. I beg to disagree). The great punchline of the moment being Will staring into the distance and freaking out, only to reveal to his friends that nobody else is in costume.
Interrogation of Will: Despite being at the center of so much of the supernatural happenings in Hawkins, Will is often shoved to the background when things go down. This season, we learned he was a conduit for the forces in the Upside Down to launch an invasion. While everyone else reacted to the events, he was often being tested by doctors or confined. In drawing up a battle plan, they realize they need the intelligence the creature possessing the boy holds. Tied to a chair, the ensemble tries to break through to their friend leading to some of the best acting we have seen on the show, especially from Noah Schnapp as Will. It is a tense and emotional scene and it is played to perfection.
Death of Bob: The crown favorite new character this season can be safely bestowed on, Joyce Byers’ new boyfriend Bob. Played by beloved character actor Sean Astin, Bob is not only a great boyfriend for Joyce; but he is also eager to become a part of the lives of Jonathan and Will, all the while being perfectly understanding that the boys may need their space to adjust to him. When he is thrust into the world of monsters and conspiracies of the show, he does not cower or freak out, instead he faces things with a cool head, happily lending his knowledge to help out. Unfortunately this is what seals his fate, as he uses his skills with technology to pave a way for his friends to escape, Bob is killed by a pack of Demodogs. We take solace in the fact that his sacrifice was not in vain. Mike is able to rally the rest of the ensemble into action by using the memory of Bob as a means to spur them on.
Max Stands up to Billy: Joining the D&D crew for this season’s adventure is Max, a new girl in school who is kept under the thumb of her older brother Billy. Over the course of the season we see that Billy is a nothing short of a bully with a domineering attitude, and worst of all he is mean to Steve. When Billy inevitably enters the fray with all the finesse of a jackhammer, he beats up Steve and promises to bring more pain on the kids in order to teach his sister a lesson. Having finally had enough, Max jabs her brother with a needle full of sedative and threatens him with the famous nail studded bat, until the two of them come to an understanding of sorts.
Hopper Dances: One of the key factors in the success of Stranger Things is because of the connection fans have with the characters. For proof look no further than the seemingly minor scene of Hopper getting down to Jim Croce. Given the struggles, heartaches, and dangers the underdog heroes of the show go through, we tend to treasure the moments when they are happy and enjoying themselves. Seeing the epitome of a blue-collar hero cutting loose and having fun resonated with fans.
Eleven Closes the Doorway: As Stranger Things 2 drew to a close, we were treated to a grand epic finale where everyone had to join forces to save the planet from the threat of the Upside Down world. Everyone played a part in completely this task, whether it was exorcising the Mind Flair from Will or distracting the Demodogs. But the most important job fell onto the shoulders of Eleven, who returned to her friends just in time to help. With her adopted father by her side, the young girl focuses all of her attention and powers into closing the portal to the Upside Down once and for all.
Snowball Dance: The second season of Stranger Things pulled off what few shows in history have been able to, and ended on a near perfect (for my money completely perfect) note. Beginning with another golden moment between Steve and Dustin, we see all the loose ends tied up and all character arcs reach happy conclusions. Will’s status as “Zombie Boy” helps him land a dance. Lucas and Max finally share a sweet innocent kiss as the culmination of the incredible chemistry they shared. A heartbroken Dustin receives a dance from Nancy Wheeler, something the kid whose pizza offer was rejected last season never would have imagined. Outside of the school in the parking lot Hopper and Joyce share a tender moment. The biggest moment though was, Mike asking Eleven to dance, despite neither really knowing how to. This entire heart touching event in all of its awkward and touching glory proves to be the perfect capstone to a fantastic season of television. Sure we have a looming threat to worry about next season, but for now our characters have earned this moment of happiness.